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‘We won’t forgive and we’ll trample on your remains’ Pussy Riot debuts new anti-war music video and demands Ukrainian children be returned home
Pussy Riot has released a new music video called “Swan Lake.” The song was performed by Maria Alyokhina, Olga Borisova, Diana Burkot, and Lucy Shtein. It was directed by Anna Aristarkhova. Works by Russian artist Alisa Gorshenina appear in the video. The main leitmotif of the work is Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” (this ballet, as the band says, “was shown on TV in the USSR when it was necessary to hide the truth”). Meduza is publishing the video with comments from the director, and a statement from the group, in which they demand that captured Ukrainian children be returned home.
This is a tale of reflection on the theme of war and the imprints it leaves on the minds of children. The main idea is to look through the eyes of a child at the world we live in. The images of spirits help the boy find answers in himself.
Pussy Riot's statement
Russian schools have introduced lessons of forced patriotism called “Conversations About What’s Important.” At the beginning of the war, teachers forced schoolchildren to line up in the letter Z to show support for the war. All over Russia, children are forced to write “kind letters” to occupying soldiers. In Yekaterinburg, fifth-grader Timofey wrote in a letter that he wished the military “to return home, not to kill people on foreign soil, and not to cause harm.” The teacher condemned the child, and classmates began to mock him for “insufficient patriotism.” “Soldier, don’t kill people,” the boy wrote, and it inspired us to write a song.
Schools are organizing patriotic events to teach children about sacrifice for the benefit of the Motherland. This year, high school students have already been given new history textbooks. In order to pass the exam and get a certificate, they have to learn propaganda — about the greatness of Russia, which is fighting “fascists” in Ukraine. Children protest — sixth-grader Masha Moskaleva made an anti-war drawing against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Her single father was put in jail for two years for “discrediting the Russian army,” and Masha was sent to an orphanage.
The Russian army has already killed more than 500 children since the full-scale invasion began. Putin is a murderer and a war criminal.
Russian state propaganda poisons people’s hearts and brains with hatred. Putin’s propagandists are no less war criminals than the soldiers who kill and rape Ukrainian civilians, or the generals who give these orders.
Russian authorities are holding thousands of Ukrainian children hostage. The children are held in “sanatoriums” where they are taught to love Russia, and if the children say they miss Ukraine or speak Ukrainian, they’re beaten. Abducted children are often recognized as orphans and put up for adoption, although most of them have parents in Ukraine who are trying to find and get them back. Children are the most vulnerable in this war.
From the Russian government:
- Stop poisoning children with fascist propaganda;
- Immediately return all abducted Ukrainian children.
From the rest of the world:
- Impose sanctions against Russian propagandists and so-called artists who glorify fascism and perform with kidnapped Ukrainian children in the Luzhniki Stadium.
We won’t forgive and we’ll trample on your remains. The Ostankino Tower will burn beautifully!
Translation by Ned Garvey
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